Mumbai: David Jones, chief executive of the world’s fifth largest ad agency network Euro RSCG Worldwide, says that while he doesn’t need to “play catch up” in acquiring digital companies, his company is looking at acquisitions globally as well as in India and China.
“The future markets are India and China (and) our company’s future lies in these markets,” says Jones, whose network is represented in India by ad agency Euro RSCG Advertising Pvt. Ltd.
Euro RSCG Worldwide is the world’s fifth largest global agency in terms of revenues and has some 233 offices with clients such as Ford Motor Co., Reckitt Benckiser Inc., Danone Group and PSA Peugeot Citroen.
According to trade magazine Advertising Age, Euro RSCG Worldwide had revenues of $659 million in 2006. Jones estimates revenue of $1 billion for 2007. He says the India operations are growing at double digits, though he wouldn’t discuss revenues.
Euro RSCG Worldwide CEO David Jones
“Major digital companies have been bought up by big advertising groups,” said Jones. “I believe that these targets were likely to have been dramatically overpaid for. We do not need to play catch-up. We would rather build on what we have or alternatively target small and medium scale companies.”
He cites Digitas Inc., which was acquired by rival Publicis Groupe for a reportedly $1.3 billion, and 24/7 Real Media, which was acquired by the WPP Group Plc. for a reported $649 million, as examples of expensive buys.
“Globally, we are one of the biggest agencies in the digital space,” he says. “I believe that digital has to lie at the core of every discipline, be it public relations or health-care communications.” Euro RSCG Worldwide “will have some big announcements in the luxury communications space in the next six months,” Jones says, declining to elaborate.
As a part of his visit, Euro RSCG unveiled a so-called Prosumer study, which was conducted in 12 tier-II Indian towns to map consumer trends.
Euro RSCG defines a Prosumer as a proactive, highly influential young consumer aspiring for a better lifestyle.
The study tracked 2,401 individuals, between 15 and 30 years, the top two socio-economic classes in the cities such as Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Kanpur, Patna, Mangalore and Vijayawada.
The study says young people in these cities are looking for a cultural middle-ground (between Western and Eastern values) and that looking good is extremely important to the prosumer, with looks often perceived as a route to success. They are apparently fitness oriented and strongly patriotic and also jump quickly on the technological bandwagon.
“Marketers are wrong when they think that it’s a trickle down effect from metros to smaller towns. Most of the times, it’s the reverse,” says Suman Srivastava, India chief executive of Euro RSCG. Tier-II towns such as Ranchi, Ludhiana and Vijayawada are emerging as critical trendsetters, he says.